Today I’d like to introduce you to one of the filmmakers that will be working on the Spirit of Tivaevae crew during production this summer.
Here’s a bit about Apii in her own words:
I am a teacher currently teaching Media Studies and Hospitality at the National College of the Cook Islands, Tereora College. I have been teaching for almost 20 years and enjoy the challenges that come with the teaching profession, hence the reason I am still in this field of work.
My passion for film making began three years ago when I enrolled into the Film Raro challenge organized and run collaboratively with Stan Wolfgramm and the Ministry of Education. Film Raro challenge – a world first; was a challenge created to link passionate film makers to indigenous people and collaborate in the production of international short films. I was involved as Production Manager for a documentary short film – “Mou Piri”. A Cook Islands love song known as the Rarotongan wedding song – depicting lovers and young people in the 60s meeting in an island dancehall. ‘Mou Piri’ means to hold close.
I have always had a passion to work in the Media field. I worked at our local TV station as writer for the local herald and anchor to present our local news every night. This passion eventually helped me two years ago to make on behalf of the Cook Islands National Council for Women my first short film and the Cook Islands first ever short film made locally. The short film “The Island Night” depicts the story of a young girl’s reality when faced with illness of a parent and the decisions she has to make.
I believe that film making is an important means to share stories. To raise the capacity of Cook Islands story tellers to tell their own digital stories to the world.
I am of Ngati Tamakeu (grandfather) and Te Tika (grandmother) tribe of Vaka Takitumu. I hold a traditional title in the Ngati Te Tika tribe as Koringo Rangatira.
I am a grandmother to two beautiful granddaughters- Terito and Vaiarii, who are my heart and healing. I’ve represented as national representation the Cook Islands in sports – triathlon and athletics and I am addictive to crossfit.
Te Atua te Aroa (God is love)
Note: In the Cook Islands and New Zealand “college” is what Americans would know as high school.
Apii and I have been corresponding over email. I cannot wait to meet her in person and work together!
Melodie is the director and producer of Spirit of Tivaevae. Born in New Zealand to a Cook Islander father and American mother, Melodie was raised in the United States. Her family background gives her a unique perspective on being a Pacific Islander raised outside the culture.